E.F.E.L.T. Charity Page

Elks Feeding Empty Little Tummies

Who are the Elks?

Elks Lodges bring so much more to their communities than just a building, golf course or pool. They are places where neighbors come together, families share meals, and children grow up.
Learn more about the Elks

By making a donation to E.F.E.L.T., you are helping feed a hungry child in Manatee County

We are trying to address feeding the homeless child portion within this defined population by providing meals, snacks, and hygiene products for these children for Saturdays and Sundays. The project will not only feed hungry children. You can also visit the EFELT website for additional information.

The School Board identifies these children, and the Elks provide the food to feed the children through a double-blind discreet process where we are unknowledgeable of the child's name or whereabouts. Food and snacks will be processed by the Elk volunteers, placed in back-packs and delivered to the Parent Involvement Family and Literacy Compliance Center on Friday for distribution. The School Board will also include donated physical and dental hygiene products, and literature for the parents on further assistance. Monday the back-packs are returned by the parent or guardian to the Compliance Center to be picked up, processed, re-filled and the process continues.

Food items will be non-perishable, recommended by the School Board Nutritionist, and purchased from "The Food Bank" operated by Meals on Wheels of Manatee County. Food stuffs will be stored and purchased from the Meals-on Wheels organization, picked-up by Elks, delivered and packed in a 2500 sq ft facility with shelving donated by Judy Witt of Wagner Reality.

The project will begin with a 200 child population which pales in comparison to the homeless child population, however the project is planned to become self-sufficient by the forth year, subsidized by local agencies, church groups, foundations. Donations and participation will be solicited from the four Elk Lodges in Manatee County, and local personal philanthropy.

Jeff Mitchell
Exaulted Ruler
Bradenton Elks #1511

To make a donation to Elks Feeding Empty Little Tummies

Please make checks payable to Elks Feeding Empty Little Tummies or E.F.E.L.T. and mail or hand deliver them to the below address:

Bradenton Elks Lodge #1511
2511 75th Street West
Bradenton, FL 34209


E.F.E.L.T. News


August 28th, 2013

I would like to acknowledge Charlie Lagano and Annabelle Novello’s generosity to E.F.E.L.T. recently. They won the Bradenton Lodge Queen of Hearts jackpot 2 weeks ago and immediately donated $1,000 to the E.F.E.L.T. Program. The entire E.F.E.L.T. Board and Volunteers want to give a very BIG "Thank You" to both of them; generous people like Charlie and Annabelle make it possible for us to continue to fill backpacks for hungry children for several months!

Also I would like to request food donations for E.F.E.L.T. for next several months of small cans of Campbell's Chicken Noodle OR Chicken and Rice soup since we do not have any in stock at this time.

For E.F.E.L.T. – school is out and it is time to RESTOCK the shelves for the coming school year. Anything will be appreciated, small containers, please, this is so the kids can carry them home easily.

Drop your donation in the E.F.E.L.T. box in the Lodge hallway. The kids Thank You!

E.F.E.L.T. is also seeking a volunteer to act as a public relations coordinator with the local community and media. If you would have any interest in this please contact me through the Lodge Secretary. We have also added a donation box in the hallway of the lodge. Donations made by check are fully tax deductible.


Carol Lynch
E.F.E.L.T. Coordinator


January 6th, 2012

Elks Feeding Empty Little Tummies ran into a difficulty. We grew from 60 kids in 2 schools to 450+ kids in 9 schools. We also expanded to the Lakewood Ranch area where our friends and fellow Elks at the Lakewood Ranch / Sarasota Lodge are helping us care for homeless kids in two, and soon three schools out of a donated facility at Freedom Elementary. That’s good in so much as more homeless kids will be given weekend meals, but our ability to “truck” over a ton of food each week became an issue. Consequently I wrote a grant to the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation to purchase a cargo van that would carry, at the least, two skids of food weighing up to 3,000 lbs., and up to 400 full backpacks weighing an average of 5 lbs. each. The original grant was for $30,000 to purchase a new van; however the Foundation had over $1.7 Mil in requests, and only $800,000 to award. We were awarded $15,000. With that money we were able to buy a 2008 Ford E-150 stretch cargo van and have it lettered with our Elk Feeding Empty Little Tummies name, our Lodge name and address and two logos – The Florida Elk Association and our Elks Feeding Empty Little Tummies Logo which was designed and donated by my son Spencer Mitchell, owner of Flipped Normal Media, LLC. And, yes we have permission from the State Elk Association and the Grand Lodge to buy the van and use Elk Logos. Not only will the van provide the necessary carrying capacity, but also serve as a “rolling bill board” advertising our Lodge and the community service we provide.

Fraternally yours
Jeff Mitchell PER


January 21st, 2011

Here are some pictures of our Exalted Ruler Jeff Mitchell and his wife Janet handing out backpacks filled with food to children at Abel Elementary. This is being accomplished through our Elks Feeding Empty Little Tummies (E.F.E.L.T.) community project. You can read the article published by Vin Mannix of the Bradenton Herald titled "Christmas all over again" that describes what the project is all about. If you would like to make a donation to our Elks Feeding Empty Little Tummies (E.F.E.L.T.) community project, you can do so online form our E.F.E.L.T. Donation page.


December 1st, 2010

Pepsi has approved our grant submitted for E.F.E.L.T. and is now in the voting stage. We are now competing for a $50,000.00 grant to feed homeless children in Manatee County and only the top 10 projects will be awarded grants. The grant is part of the Pepsi Refresh Project and requires that ideas be submitted, approved and then win a voting competition to be awarded the grant money. The grant money, if awarded, will be used to provide meals and hygiene staples over the weekend to these children. Here is where your help is needed, we need your votes for the project. Will you please take a moment and follow the link to vote on this project? You do have to fill out a short registration, but it will only take you a minute or two. The name of the Pepsi Refresh Project is: Feed Empty Little Tummies of homeless children in Manatee County Fla., it is listed under the Food & Shelter category (yellow) and the requested dollar amount is $50,000.00. You can click on the following link to take you directly to the project page, http://www.refresheverything.com/feedemptylittletummies.

You can vote once a day, each day of December on this project, but the voting ends on December 31st so please vote as often as you can. We need everyones help in voting on this project to help the children of Manatee County.

Thank you for your support and please pass this on to others to vote.


November 9th, 2010

Bradenton Lodge #1511 has received a $10,000.00 Impact Grant from the Elks National Foundation! This grant will help start funding E.F.E.L.T. which stands for Elks Feeding Empty Little Tummies! This grant will go to help feed children in need within our community that are classed as Title 1 kids in our school system who are fed during the week for free at school. This grant will help feed these same children during their time outside of school such as on weekends. Our current Lodge ER Jeff Mitchell wrote and submitted this grant and we were 1 of 51 lodges in the entire United States to be awarded an Impact Grant from the Elks National Foundation. ER Jeff Mitchell has also submitted another grant to Pepsi-Cola in the amount of $50,000.00 to help fund E.F.E.L.T. and we should have word sometime in December on this grant.